Andrew Ross Sorkin

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Just Be Cause.

For some reason, I was never a Citibank guy.  I love Citi Field in Queens, home of the NY Mets and once applied for a job at Publicis to work on Citibank.  That said, I do have a rewards credit card in my wallet, but that’s more a function of American Airlines than Citi.  Banks are not a category I get all warm and fuzzy about, with the possible exception of  JPMorgan Chase, a brand I did a dive on a couple of years ago.

Today I was reading Andrew Ross Sorkin, a New York Times financial columnist, and as a result have newfound affinity for Citibank. It seems the boys and women at Citi Bank have decided to stop doing business with manufacturers and sellers of guns. Not an easy task. Certainly they will pizzle off the NRA. They will, as the story explained, suffer a number of credit cards being cut up and other lost relationships. Moreover, they will need to figure out how to shut down gun show work-arounds.     

But what they have done is put the masses ahead of their bottom line. This is a level of cause related marketing I have not seen in a long time. I don’t know the Citibank brand strategy. I don’t know the CEO. I don’t begin to understand basis points and earnings.  I do know balls. This is a ballsy cause.




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A quote from Andrew Ross Sorkin in today’s New York Times reads:


“To make a combined General Motors-Chrysler work – let alone flourish – the company would need to do everything that is impolitic. It would have to virtually break the U.A W., cut salaries and benefits, and lay off a lot of people, fast. Oh: and it would also have to make cars that people actually want to buy.”


The executive offices of all the Big 3 are filled with smarter men and women than me. MBAs up the wazoo, but not one these senior officers is a visionary. Yeah, they may show up at the Detroit Car Show with a newly designed fanny warmer or car that parks itself, but they missed the boat when it came to cars people wanted to buy – or would want to buy down the road.  Quarterly losses and market share shrinkage have been mounting for years. If you ask me, the only Big 3 property doing anything is Chevrolet. GM should plumb that group for ideas.


Were I the U.S. government, I’d wait until I heard some serious leadership coming from one of those offices in Detroit, backed by a real strategy, before I put them on the dole. Peace!



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